New Topographics

This thoughtful writeup of one of my favourite  photobooks is pertinent as I prepare for the upcoming exhibit I am participating in that has been organised by Gary.

PhotoBook Journal

Copyright of the artists, George Eastman House and Center for Creative Photograph 2009 courtesy Steidl

In 1975 at the George Eastman House an exhibition was curated by William Jenkins, assisted by Joe Deal, on what was then evolving as the new (urban) landscape photograph, titled New Topographics; Photographs of a Man-Altered Landscape. You could argue that what now remains is history. Okay, but why?

The 1975 exhibition was in Rochester, NY, which would seem off the beaten photographic path to have become such an influential exhibition. But it could be argued that thirty-five years ago, fine art photography was a much different place, with very few venues for exhibition, and just as few schools which taught fine art photography. The world of fine art photography was a much smaller place, as elegantly explained by Britt Salvesen in this retrospective book’s foreword. Salvesen provides a wonderful external content and historical perspective to this landmark exhibition…

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